|United States Patent||4,807,714|
|Blau , et al.||February 28, 1989|
A hitch assembly and method for connecting a vehicle to a towed apparatus and releasing the towed apparatus from connection to the underlying supporting surface has a tongue which is connected to the towed apparatus and a socket engaging device mounted on the vehicle. The socket engaging device is movable from a first position at which the tongue is free from connection to the vehicle to a second position elevationally spaced from the first position at which the tongue is connected to the socket engaging device. An actuator which is mounted on the vehicle and connected to the socket engaging device elevationally moves the socket engaging device between the first and second positions. A tongue supporting member is movable from a surface supported position to a socket engaging device supported position spaced from the underlying surface in response to movement of the socket engaging device from the first position to the second position. The hitch assembly is particularly suited for connecting an automatic guided vehicle to a trailer.
|Inventors:||Blau; Andrew P. (Willoughby Hills, OH), Masso; Joseph A. (Westlake, OH)|
Caterpillar Industrial Inc.
|Filed:||August 18, 1987|
|Current U.S. Class:||180/168 ; 172/326; 280/425.1; 280/475; 280/477; 280/479.1; 280/490.1|
|Current International Class:||B60D 1/46 (20060101); B60D 1/00 (20060101); B60D 001/10 (); B62D 001/24 ()|
|Field of Search:||280/479R,479A,49R,425R,477,475 180/168 172/326|
|3319977||May 1967||Quandt et al.|
|3412489||September 1966||Klapprodt et al.|
|4368899||January 1983||Smalley et al.|
Brochure of Caterpillar Industrial Inc., published Apr., 1986, "The New Dimension in Automated Material Handling", (8 pages). .
A Material Handling Institute (MHI) brochure, reprinted publication, dated Apr., 1983, entitled "AGVS", (40 pages). .
Publication of Volvo, entitled "Autocarrier . . . How It Works", copyright 1985, (24 pages)..